Tag Archives: poetry

Poem: In Another Existence

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A few days ago, there was this viral message about Mars’ cosmic ray scare floating around the interwebs. It said something about turning off all electronic devices as cosmic rays will affect mobile phones. Of course, being the skeptic that I am, I didn’t heed anything about it.

And then I wondered, what if my being a Luddite got over me and I actually turned off my phone? What if I didn’t get to that party my friend invited me to? What if I didn’t meet that guy down at the corner where I usually wait for my jeepney ride home? What if?

Here goes.

Me

meeting you

at that exact corner

where jeeps

and motorcycles

passed

me by

like

the flowing

river

was not

just

coincidence

 

You

with your

wild-eyed silliness

and your

inability

to keep

your bearings

in this

strange strange city

 

asking me

the girl

who basically

has

the city’s map

at the back

of her palm

for directions

was not

just

pure luck

 

It was cosmic rays

pushing us

into that corner

 

 

It was

divine providence

 

It was

a mixture

of luck

and coincidence

and decisions

all leading

to

that corner

 

to that

destiny

 

in another

existence

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Poem: Countdown

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It’s been awhile since a wrote new poetry.  I know it’s no excuse but I’ve had a lot on my plate the past couple of months. But now I’m back!  I apologize for not updating you with any new poems.

Here’s my new one entitled “Countdown”.

Cut-off jeans

and flip flops

Sunscreens

and

sunnies.

Is it still summer?

No

it’s not.

I’m waiting for summer.

Wait

Christmas has to visit

with all its

frolicking

and

caroling

it seems like

it’ll last

long

But it won’t

Summer

will come by

soon

What are your thoughts? I’d really appreciate constructive criticisms. It would help me a lot.

That’s it for now.

Peace out!

Mindblowing Seminar

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Mindblowing Seminar

September 13, XU AVR 1, Cagayan de Oro City –  I was very fortunate to have participated in “Over A Cup of Coffee: A Talk with the Writers” –  ‘a literary discussion with the leading local writers of Mindanao.’ Said leading local writers who shared their journey in their specific literary field are Dr. Maria Elena Paulma , Dr. Steven Fernandez, Prof. Rogelia Garcia, and Prof. Arlene Yandug.

The talk was organized by XELLO (Xavier English Language and Literature Organization – a student organization for ELL and English major students in Xavier University) spearheaded by Kristen Senajon. (She also has a blog. Please check her out right here.)

Dr. Paulma started the talk by sharing the introduction of her dissertation. She was suppose to discuss about fiction but she ended up telling her process of writing in general. I didn’t actually take a lot of notes. I was too drawn listening to her. She has this aura that commands attention, not the kind that drill seargents have, but more like the kind Mother Mary had (if ever I did meet her).

One of the things she said that really struck me the most was the quote she shared by Butch Dalisay, “The knowing is in the writing.” Indeed, whenever I write, there’s always this sort of discovery that unfolds before me. Truths that I’ve never actually thought of in my waking moments. Thoughts that have lain dormant in my subconscious.

She also said how a writer’s best friend is the trash can. Haha! How true. Or if you’re more of the techie kind, the recycling bin, which is virtually a trash can.

There is also this dichotomy of creation and destruction in writing. I can’t seem to find the right words to explain how this phenomenon happens but let me paint a picture:

I’m writing. Pen on my right hand. A clean sheet of paper under it. I scribble words that come from my brain and down to my fingertips. Just as I’m about to put that last dot that ends the paragraph, I crumple that ink-filled sheet of paper and shoot that to my make-believe ring, which actually is just a trash can.

I know the picture I painted kinda sounded lame but….I tried.

I asked Dr. Paulma how she overcomes that fear of sharing to much of herself in her writing. She answered me with “It’s like jumping into a cliff. You just have to do it.”

The second part of the talk was about Poetry discussed by Prof. Yandug. She focused more on the structure of poetry and how line breaks are there to make the reader ask questions at the end of every line.

She used William Carlos Williams’ poem entitled Poem (As The Cat) to explain how line breaks work. As far as I could remember, she explained it like this:

As the cat                                 what?
climbed over                            climbed over what?
the top of                                 top of what?

the jamcloset                           and then?
first the right                            right what?
forefoot                                    oh okay, and then?

carefully                                   and then?
then the hind                           the hind what?
stepped down                         stepped down where?

into the pit of                           pit of the what?
the empty                               empty what?
flowerpot                                oh okay, the cat is safe. Yippee!

Now that I think about it, poetry is about suspense.

She also shared her poem entitled “Going Back to the Island”. The poem was published in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. If you like to read the poem, click this.

After reading the poem, some of the participants almost cried. Even the host of the seminar, my friend Abby, almost cried.

I asked Prof. Yandug if she thought of ever performing the poem while writing it and she said she never thought of it. My first question was only a set-up to invite her for the Poetry Night and she definitely said yes! It actually pays to have a very thick face.

The third resource speaker that day was Prof. Rogelio Garcia. He’s more fondly called as Sir Roger to colleagues and students. I first met him when NAGMAC (Nagkahiusang Mambabalak sa CDO) conducted a poetry workshop back in July. But, his reputation did precede him. Most of my friends who are English majors have been fawning about him; telling me how he is such an inspiration. And I do agree he is an inspiration.

He discussed the literary genre Creative Non Fiction (CNF) – the youngest literary form in the bunch and focused on discussing the memoir CNF. He also showed the guidelines of CNF (I’d rather not enumerate them here.) and how different memoir CNFs are from autobiographies and biographies. Simply put, CNFs are true accounts of someone’s life (or in a memoir – true accounts of YOUR life) but written artfully whereas autobiographies and biographies are more informative and concerned in dates and times.

Did my explanation make sense? I do hope so.

Last and definitely not the least was Dr. Fernandez – the rock star of Mindanao drama and the DEFENDER OF OUR HERITAGE. Seriously, he actually did get an award from China.

Instead of showing slides and discussing his topic, which was playwriting, he opted to make things more interesting by making us – the participants – ask questions first.

Someones asked him when he started performing, to which he answered that he started performing ever since he was born. And he said all of us perform. We perform at home, in school, in meeting, even that time when we were in the seminar. Even he was performing before us.

Performance is a part of our lives.

He was asked many questions to which he answered very wittingly. Even fellow resource speaker – Sir Roger – asked him questions about his craft. He was asked how he deals with writers’ block to which he answered “sex”. The crowd jeered!

He shared his experiences is the source of his creativity. His quotable quote that day was “You write what you know.”

The seminar was closed by Zara, one of the organizers, with an encouragement: “Writing is for the brave. Be brave.”

I hope this seminar has sparked the young local writers of our city. We badly do need it to uplift and promote our own heritage. As what Dr. Fernandez said, “It’s our own culture. Nag-iisa lang ‘yan. We have to defend it.”

And with that, I will now jump into the cliff (figuratively, of course).

Peace out!

Long Overdue

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So, another poetry night in our town just passed by. The night had a lot of feels. So much feels! It didn’t help that the theme was “Beginnings and Endings”. Well anyway, here’s a poem I performed that night with a friend. I actually wrote this immediately after a long overdue conversation I had with a long time friend.

 

To make it clear, two people performed this; yours truly and Dennis (thanks for obliging to performing it with me. I know it was sooooo last minute but we made it work. hehe) Dennis read the italicized ones and we read the bold ones together. I bit different form the performed one.

 

Here it goes.

 

************************

 

When you

– the boy who was your coffee buddy down at Dunkin Donuts ‘til the break of dawn, who checked on you whenever you went home late, who treated you out for cinnamon rolls just coz you were craving for them and I only had ten bucks in my pocket, who was your pseudo-bodyguard when you walk the city streets at night, who played the guitar just to hear you sing, who wrote you the first handwritten letter you’ve ever gotten from a non-relative human male life form –

 Told me my beauty –

  is gentle yet fierce

 My hair –

  mimics the waves of the sea

 My name –

  rhymes with “hi”

 And said –

  “My world stops when you laugh.”

 I laughed. How could I have missed that?

  I laughed. Coz when I offered you forever, you gladly kicked your shoes and ran with me on the beach barefoot.

We kicked the sand ‘til they kissed the waves–

  I laughed.

We laughed. We were two parts of the soul. Two sides of the same coin.

I was the warm to your cool

the yin to your yang

the wild to your calm

the peace to your chaos

the light to your dark

I laughed. You said you’d name our children Luke and Leia.

  But you begged me no. So we made a deal.

No juniors. No mixing our names together. No geekdom references.

  But fortune never smiles on people who say “No”.

 Let’s just hold off on our nerdazzle, shall we?

Okay, deal.

 There’s always something sad in piers and airports.

They always have someone leaving; always have someone get left behind.

But, we made it work.

 I wake up, grab my phone and tell you good morning.

  Come high noon, I tell you I’m in a meeting.

Good morning! How are you? Fine, you? Good! Are you in a meeting? Yes, gotta go. Okay, take care. God bless. God bless. – (repeat thrice)

 Where are you?

  Overtime.

 Where are you?

  Work.

 Where are you?

  With friends from work.

 Where are you?

  Night out.  Where are you?

 I’m right here. I was always right behind you. Ready to give you a hand, an arm, a shoulder, an eye, an ear, my pieces, my soul. Me.

  But you couldn’t.

–Where are you? –

 I’m right here.

  I was in the concrete jungle.

 I’m right here.

  I was making ends meet.

 I’m right here.

  I was lonely.

 I’m right here.

Where are you?

I’m right here.

Not with you

  I jumped from one dream to another.

 While I scrambled my way to catch up to you. I only had one plan.

  I had a grand plan but not

To be with you.

  But I offered you forever.

 I offered you me.

I’m sorry.

Even if we burned bridges, we could always find a way to zip line through the ridges

I could still retrieve it through the recesses of my mind.

[# here is a constant mobile number being said again and again by Dennis]

 I could still recite it (#) like an empty prayer.

 My lips (#) stored it in its muscle memory.

 Amazing (#), isn’t it? (#)

 (#)

 The number you have dialed is either invalid or not in use.

I laughed when I found out her beauty –

  is gentle yet fierce

  her hair –

  mimics the waves of the sea

  her name –

  rhymes with “hi”

Sometimes I hold my breath, close my eyes and see

The time I held your hand, the time we kicked the sand, the time we tanned and the time we planned

I kept them in my hand and willed myself to go back.

But we couldn’t.

I can only see our memories like a movie reel before me.

Cut. Edited. Pristine.

This time we have both our lives ahead of us. Time to let go. Got to move on. Keep moving forward. Look back once in a while. But never stop moving forward.

 

***********************

 

Next #cdopoetrynight soon!

 

Peace out!

March Poetry

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After a successful Poetry Night that NAGMAC (Nagkahiusang Mambabalak sa Cagayan de Oro or loosely translated as United Poets of CDO) organized, I thought of making poetry a daily habit. Each day for the entire month of March, I will try to make at least one poem. AM I up to it? I dunno. But what better way to make this a habit than to do it 21 times, right?

Wish me luck.

Peace out.

Different Houses

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Building dreams together is one of the perks of being in a relationship. It makes me look forward for the future. But when the relationship gets awry….
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She met a boy who wished for a simple home in a suburban neighborhood. No qualms and chaos. Just there to have peace and quiet. Now, he is gone.

She almost fell in love with a man who wanted a house on top of a century-old tree. He would build his own tree house and put a sun roof so all the light would come in. Now, he is pursuing someone else.

She fell in love with a man who dreamt of a Pi-shaped house with her. A white Pi-shaped house with an Olympic size swimming pool in between the elongated parts of the house. Now, he is with someone else.

The tragedy of it all? They never asked her what she wanted.
************

In all fairness, I still don’t know how my ‘dream house’ would look like. o.O
What does your dream house look like?

Peace out!

Once, Twice, and Thrice

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I finished this one quite recently. Well, I sort of got into it because of the poetry reading event held in our school. It was a way for poetry and literature in general to be democratized (in a very good way, I might add).

Inspiration? Hahaha! I think it’s pretty clear how this poem got started. As to who this muse is, I’d rather not say. He/She/It might not even know about this.

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I like you

Even before we met,

Even before we were introduced.

Cliche #1 – You are the man of my dreams

the epitome of an idea that sprung to life.

Cliche #2 – You stuck out like a sore thumb

in a sea of faceless strangers.

Once, You saw me sitting alone

You kept me company.

Until, we each had to go

for some reason.

I do not remember anymore.

Twice, we sat alone together

Same time

Same place

Unplanned

Unannounced

Sipping our teas and started

Talking – a series of reveries and revelries that got us

bearing our souls which were torn by

the same glass cannons

we have fostered home.

A light breeze ignited my slowly ebbing heart

and just for a nanosecond

I thought maybe – just maybe

the idea of you and I

Us

is in the realm of possibility.

We both wear our hearts on our sleeves.

Although, I hide mine

better than you do – or so I think.

Remember we talked about destiny?

How our decisions and circumstances have led us to this:

Now

Now, I definitely know there is a Higher Power

for how can I not believe in Him

and witness this miracle

of the eventuality of us

But

Oblivious

Oh, that you are.

Fun Fact: did you know

we’ve already been introduced thrice?

Cliche #3 – Three time’s a charm!

It’s alright.

I’ve already come to terms with the brutal truth that

You will never fancy me.

 

You just don’t

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This is from the time I got broken-hearted. The situation was complicated. I was young.
I don’t remember how I finished and what I felt when I was writing this. Angry – obviously. But, I don’t remember exactly.
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You don’t get to call me in the middle of the night,
you don’t get to ask me you need a friend;
oh that ended the day you let go of me.

You don’t get to love me,
and not love me at the same time.
You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.
You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

I know I was pathetic,
I know I was weak,
Holding on to bonds that we shared,
Saving everything we had.

You don’t get to ask me if I’m alright.
No, I’m not alright.
You broke my heart, shattered it to pieces.
You chose to break my heart.

I see you when I close my eyes.
Much more when I open them.
You don’t get to haunt me in my dreams.
You don’t get to hold me in my sleep.

But it’s time for me to make a stand,
and start moving on.
I’m building my own dreams without you.
I guess you already did that a little ahead of me.

I see you everywhere.
try to purge you out of my system,
but I want to embrace your memory even more.

And yes, I’ve already forgiven you
but no, I will never forget.
I will never meet someone like you;
Cause I’ll meet someone better than you.
I deserve someone better.
I deserve someone better.
Am I right?
Am I right?
*********

Too sad? Too bitter? Too.. what? Do tell me what you think about it.
I’ll be waiting.
Peace out!